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Renting set to become a UK norm for future generations

Homeownership in the UK is set to become less common in the UK, with new research suggesting that there could be more renters than homeowners by 2039.

Currently, the housing market remains dominated by homeowners, who account for some 65%, but these figures represent a 5% fall since 2010, and if this current trend continues then the balance will tip in 20 years’ time, with 50.7% renting and 49.3% owning. 

Additionally, this would mean that renters outnumber owners by 55% to 45% by 2045, according to the analysis from letting compliance firm VeriSmart. 

The analysis report also suggests that, despite many facing ongoing affordability issues in the UK, people are not always renting out of necessity, but by choice. Indeed, it is believed that many UK citizens are now favouring a more continental approach to their living arrangements because the number of people living in socially rented housing has also dropped since 2010. 

‘We are currently seeing a shifting mentality in the way we choose to live our lives, and for Generation Rent, in particular, there is no longer that urgency to make it out of the rental sector and secure their own ‘piece’ of bricks and mortar,’ said Jonathan Senior, chief executive officer of VeriSmart.

‘This was initially driven by consistently buoyant house price growth coupled with stagnant wage growth, providing no other option but to rent. However, social rental numbers are falling, Build to Rent is growing in prominence, and there have been many tenant-friendly changes to the sector,’ he explained.

‘All of these changes are making the rental sector a more attractive place to be and as a result, we are seeing more of us opt for it and stay there for much longer than we may have traditionally,’ he added. The firm also points out that high costs see to it that many in the UK remain in the private rental sector for longer, despite being national aspirational homeowners, by and large. Of the 28 European Union nations, the UK is 24th regarding homeownership rates. Meanwhile, it has the fifth highest percentage of tenant occupiers, behind Germany, Austria, Denmark, and France.

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